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Brief Published: 12 Jan 2018

Sensory Robots On the Horizon

Sensory robots are on the horizon

US company Aromyx – which has created a way to digitise, store and index scent and taste – has strategically partnered with UK/Swiss robotics-focused venture studio Rewired in a bid to give smart robots a sense of smell.

Aromyx's EssenceChip is a disposable biochip that imitates human olfactory and taste receptors, while Rewired believes next-gen robots will need to gather diverse data about their surroundings in order to understand and productively interact with the world around them. Together, they are aiming to give sensory capabilities to machines – potentially revolutionising many industries from food and beverage to healthcare.

This new technology will also enable people to digitally manipulate scent and taste in a similar way to digitally altering sound and images. According to Aromyx, just as visual and speech recognition technology progressed in the 80s and 90s respectively, scent and taste recognition technology is set to advance.

During the partnership, Rewired will explore new applications for this technology and become "the nose and taste buds of a new generation of smart machines", said Chris Hanson, chief executive of Aromyx.

For more on the future of robotics, read Digital Disruption: Wired Live 2017 and Blueprint for a Better Workplace.